UAE embassy reopens in Damascus after 7 years

UAE embassy

Bahrain on Friday announced that "work is continuing at its embassy" in Syria, reflecting a new push by Gulf Arab states to improve relations with President Bashar Assad as the war winds down.

Zou said the series moves also enhanced the legitimacy of the Syrian government, strengthened its political status, and correspondingly further weakened the status of the opposition forces.

"Syria is a country in the heart of the Arab world and it's an indispensable country in the Arab world and this is an invitation to the Arab countries to return", he said.

Maher Ihsan, another expert, told Xinhua that despite the fact that no UAE ambassador has yet been named, the opening of the embassy is a fix to the broken relations between both countries.

- The Beirut summit could act as a test run for the Arab League summit to be held in March 2019 in Tunis.

Assad has vowed to recoup control of the entire country.

More news: US President Donald Trump makes surprise visit to troops in Iraq

"This does not rule out a possible change of the Arab position in the future", he added. He did not name the Arab countries in the interview, which was his first with a Gulf paper since the war erupted, but said Arab and Western delegations had begun visiting Syria to prepare for the reopening of diplomatic and other missions.

Ali Mamluk, Syria's intelligence chief and a key figure in the Assad regime, travelled to Egypt last week on an official visit.

A Cham Wings Airlines jet completed the first flight between the two countries since 2011.

At the time analysts told Xinhua that the visit could be a prelude to restoring normal Arab relations with Syria. A foreign ministry statement said the move aimed to normalise ties and to curb risks of regional interference in "Arab, Syrian affairs" - an apparent reference to non-Arab Iran, whose support for Al-Assad has been critical to his war effort.

Trump also claimed that Saudi Arabia had agreed to finance Syria's enormous reconstruction needs.

Last week's announcement by the White House that United States troops would be pulled out also cleared the path for Turkey to muscle in on Kurdish areas in northeastern Syria.

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